Ambassador Laura F. Dogu Remarks at USMC Birthday Ball

Happy Birthday, Marines!

Good evening everyone.

I am so happy you are here to celebrate the 247th birthday of the United States Marine Corps!

I know we are all happy to be able to celebrate in person for the first time since the pandemic


Because we have some guests who do not speak English, I will be shifting between Spanish

and English.

Happy Birthday, Marines!

A special welcome to our Honduran friends who are joining us to celebrate the 247th birthday

of the United States Marines.

It’s an honor to have you here with us tonight.

I want to begin by recognizing the representatives from the Republic of Honduras who are

with us this evening.

I want to begin by recognizing the representatives from the Republic of Honduras who are

with us this evening.

I want to begin by especially acknowledging the worthy representatives of the Republic of

Honduras who are with us tonight.

Mr. Secretary of Defense, José Manuel Zelaya Rosales,

Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Vice Admiral José Fortín,

Undersecretary of Defense, Elias Melgar Urbina,

Deputy Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Jose Ramon Macoto,

Army Commander Dennis McCoy

Commander of the Air Force, Francisco Javier Serrano,

Commander of the Naval Force, Pablo Rodriguez,

Director of Military Health, Colonel of Health Rita Maria Medina Sevilla,

And the other military leaders,

Thank you for your excellent cooperation and working together to make our two countries safer and more prosperous.

And thank you for being with us to honor the Marines.

We are also happy to welcome officers from the United States.

We are also happy to welcome other officials from the United States.

Assistant Secretary of Defense Melissa Dalton,

Puerto Rico National Guard Commander Major General Jose Reyes,

And the Vice Commander of Fourth Fleet Rear Admiral Douglas Sasse,

Tonight is more special because you are with us.

We appreciate all the support you give to this important bilateral relationship whether when visiting here or when you are in Washington, Florida, and Puerto Rico

Ladies and gentlemen,

We are here to honor the Marine Corps which, for 247 years, has protected our nation with honor, valor, and selfless dedication.

That is why the Marines are among the most revered and admired military organizations.

How many of you are attending your first Marine Corp ball?

When I attended my first ball, after joining the Foreign Service a long time ago I did not understand the purpose of the ball or the Special relationship between the Marine Corp and the State Department.

It has been a formal relationship since 1949, when the first Marine Security Guards arrived in Tangier, and later Bangkok.

Now, Marines are posted in about 125 Embassies and Consulates around the world. They remain a strong and constant presence in the Embassy community.

But most importantly, they are critical to the security of the Embassy and to all of us.

Now, I want you all to take a moment and look around this room.

Take a moment to admire those among us who proudly wear the insignia of the U.S. Marine Corp.

We honor them tonight.

We honor our region nine detachment of the Marine Security Guard, led by Detachment Commander Tyler Sechrest

We honor the community participation of our Marines, whether in Soto Cano or Tegucigalpa, who are involved with countless medical missions to Honduras, including the USNS Comfort in Puerto Cortes this week.

We honor them because these Marines, along with our U.S. government civilian colleagues, further strengthen our relationship with Honduras.

We honor the Marines who gave their lives during the August 2021 evacuation from Afghanistan.

We honor the Marines who defended us at the U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2004.

We honor the Marines who protected everyone during attacks on our Embassy in Tunisia.

We honor the Marines who protected our Embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es Salam in the Africa Embassy bombings in 1998.

We honor the Marines Who lost their lives in 1983 At the Embassy and Marine Corp Barracks in Lebanon.

And we honor the Marines Who 43 years ago today We taken hostage at The US Embassy in Iran.

These are just the few attacks on diplomatic facilities that I could think of myself, so I am sure there are many more.

And this doesn’t include all the sacrifices of the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan during the war on terror.

How incredible to think that what we celebrate here tonight, all started in a bar, Tun Tavern in 1775, on a busy corner in Philadelphia.

The bar owner, Robert Mullan, in the middle of the American Revolution, raised up a battalion of the finest marksmen. They became the United States Marine Corp.

Whether enlisted or commissioned, civilian or military, Honduran or American, we can all agree that defense forces play a pivotal role in making our world a safer place.

So please, raise your glasses, and join me in a a couple of toasts.

First, to cherishing and defending the United States, Honduras, and our partners around the world!

Next, to celebrating the men and women in uniform who have fought and died to make our world a better place!

Finally, to the families with loved ones who right now are far away and wearing the uniform with pride and honor!

Marines, you answered the call to serve your country.

Your sacrifice has taken you to faraway lands so that the world can be a safer, fairer, and more prosperous place.

That is why we admire you, why we appreciate you.

So, on this 247th birthday of the United States Marine Corp, we celebrate all of you, who have earned the right to wear the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor.

Marines, let me get a mighty OOOO-RAH!

“Semper Fi”

Happy birthday Marines!